THE APPARITIONS

Aparições de Fátima

On 13 May 1917, three children were pasturing their little flock in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fatima, town of Vila Nova de Ourém, today the diocese of Leiria-Fatima. They were called: Lucia de Jesus, aged 10, and her cousins Fran­cisco and Jacinta Marto, aged 9 and 7.

About midday, after praying the Rosary, as was their custom, they were amusing themselves building a little house of stones scattered around the place where the Basilica now stands. Suddenly they saw a brilliant light, and thinking it to be lightning, they decided to go home. But as they went down the slope another flash lit up the place, and they saw on the top of a holmoak (where the Chapel of Apparitions now stands), "a Lady more brilliant than the sun ", from whose hands hung a white rosary.

The Lady told the three little shepherds that it was necessary to pray much, and she invited them to return to the Cova da Iria during five consecutive mon­ths, on the 13th day at that hour. The children did so and the 13th day of June, July, September and October, the Lady appeared to them again and spoke to them in the Cova da Iria. On the 19th of August, the apparition took place at Valinhos, about 500 metres from Aljustrel, because on the 13th the children had been carried off by the local Administrator to Vila Nova de Ourém.

At the last apparition, on October 13, with about 70,000 people present, the Lady said to them that she was the "Lady of the Rosary" and that a chapel was to be built there in her honour. After the apparition all present witnessed the mi­racle promised to the three children in July and September: the sun, resembling a silver disc, could be gazed at without difficulty and, whirling on itself like a wheel of fire, it seemed about to fall upon the earth.

Afterwards, when Lucia was a Religious Sister of Saint Dorothy, Our Lady appeared to her again in Spain (10 December 1925 and 15 February 1926, in the Convent of Pontevedra, and on the night of  1 3/14 June 1929, in the Convent of Tuy), requesting  the devotion of  the  five first Saturdays (to pray the Rosary, meditate on the mysteries s of the Rosary, confess and receive Holy Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary), and the Consecration of Russia to the same Immaculate Heart. This request had been announced by the Apparition on 13 July 1917, in what is called the "Secret of Fatima".

Years later, Sr. Lucia related that, between April and October of 1916, an Angel  had appeared to the three seers on three occasions, twice in the Cabeço and once at the well in the garden behind Lucia's house, who exhorted them to prayer and penance.

 

Since 1917 pilgrims have not ceased to come to the Cova da Iria in thousan­ds upon thousands from all parts of the world, at first on the 13th of each month, later during the sumrner and winter holidays, and now more and more at we­ekends and any day all the year round.

Fatima 13 de Maio

 

THE SEERS OF FÁTIMA

pastorinhos de fatima

 

LUCIA OF JESUS: The principal seer of the Apparitions, she was born on 22 March 1907, in Aljustrel, in the parish of Fatima. On 17 June 1921, she entered the college of Vilar (Porto), directed by the religious of Saint Dorothy. Later she went to Tuy, where she received the Habit and the name Maria Lucia of Dolours. On 3 October 1928 she made religious profession of temporary vows, and on 3 October 1934, perpetual vows.

On 25 March 1948 she was transferred to Coimbra, entering the Carmel of Saint Teresa, and taking the name of Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate He­art. On 31 May 1949 she made profession of solemn vows. Sister Lucia has come to Fatima several times, on May 1946, 13 May 1967, in 1981 to direct, in Carmel, a series of paintings on the Apparitions, on 13 May 1982, 13 May 1991 and 13 May 2000.                                  

FRANCISCO MARTO: He was born on 11 June 1908, in Aljustrel. He died a saintly death on 4 April 1919, in his parent s' house. Very sensitive and con­templative, he directed all his prayer and penance towards "consoling Our Lord".

His mortal remains were buried in the parish cemetery until 13 March 1952, on which date they were translated to the Basílica, on the eastern side.

JACINTA MARTO: She was born in Aljustrel on 11 March 1910. Her holy death took place on 20 February 1920, in the Hospital of  D. Estefania,  in Lisbon, after a long and painful illness,  offering all her sufferings for the conversion of sinners, for peace in the world and for the Holy Father.

On 12 September 1935 her body was solemnly translated from the family tomb of the Baron of Alvaiazere in Ourém, to the Fatima cemetery, and placed beside the mortal remains of her brother Francisco. 

João Paulo II

On 1 May 1951, the translation of Jacinta's mortal remains took place, with the greatest simplicity,  to a new tomb prepared in the Basílica of Cova da Iria, on the western side.

Francisco and Jacinta were proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II, in Fatima, on 13 May 2000.